Pulses Current Affairs - 2019
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The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) has sold over 5 lakh tonnes (lt) pulses to 10 States and a Union Territory at discounted rates under the scheme of central government.
Why the central government had introduced the scheme?
The first of its kind scheme was introduced by the central government to clear the stock procured during the past few years and improve nutritional indicators for poor households. The objectives of the scheme are:
- Making pulses available to poor people at affordable rates.
- Reduction of the sale of pulses, procured by the government procurement agencies, in the open market as it often brings down the mandi prices of the freshly harvested crop, which in turn is against the interests of farmers.
Features of the scheme
The salient features of the scheme are:
- The subsidised price of the pulses is Rs 15 lower than the weighted average mandi price of any of the pulses and the states have to borne by states.
- There is no limit on how much a State can buy from Nafed under the scheme, but the states are required to justify the demand.
- The states are required to distribute the pulses only through welfare schemes and should produce the evidence.
The scheme is already showing the desired impact particularly on the lifting of market prices. Reports suggest that the mandi prices of pulses have already increased on an average by Rs 300-1,000 a quintal in different markets, even though it was just two and a half months since the scheme was launched.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved release of pulses to States/UTs at discounted rate to be utilized for various Welfare Schemes from stock of pulses procured under Price Support Schemes (PSS). The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Under this approved Scheme, States/UT Governments will be offered to lift 34.88 lakh MT of pulses at discounted rate over prevailing wholesale market price of sourcing state on First come first serve basis. This will be one-time dispensation for 1 year period or complete disposal of 34.88 lakh MT of pulses stock whichever is earlier. Government will spend Rs. 5,237 crore for implementation of this Scheme. The decision will enable the States/UTs to use pulses in various Welfare Schemes like Public Distribution Scheme (PDS), Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP) etc etc. besides making available warehouses, which may be required in coming Kharif season for storage of commodities procured under PPS.
Pulses production was witnessed all time high during the last 2 years in the country. Due to bumper production, Central Government also has made record procurement of pulses (45.43 lakh MT) during Kharif 2017 and Rabi 2018 marketing season under Price Support Scheme. This was coupled with increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) will require additional procurement under Price Support Scheme.